Change The Spark Plugs on a Yamaha V-Star 1100
So you've bought a motorcycle and you don't know when the plugs were last changed? Or worse, the bike is running horrible and you NEED to change the plugs? Well, here is a definitive guide to do just that.
Spoiler alert, it's easy!
- 5/8" Spark Plug Socket (or plug wrench from toolkit)
- 17mm Wrench (or wrench from toolkit)
- Plug Wire Puller (or body panel pry bar)
- Gap Gauge (ramp or feeler)
Lack of power, hesitation, skipping, etc...
Getting out your toolkit
If your motorcycle still has the toolkit with it, start by locating it. It's behind the chrome, locked cover on the LH side of the bike. Insert your key in the keyhole and turn to unlock.
Pull the entire cover away from the bike gently, rocking it if it resists (it's held in by rubber grommets). Once the cover is out of the way, locate the toolkit. Release the retaining strap and remove the kit.
Open the toolkit and locate the required tools.
Access the plugs
Now, we need to get to the plugs. Locate the chrome plug cover on the LH side.
Now, grab it firmly and pull it off (rocking it if it resists). It will be snug but will come off.
Now, let's do the same for the RH side. Locate the cover.
And pull it off.
Changing the plugs
Now, with the covers out of the way, we can start the actual process of changing the plugs. For the sake of repetition, I'll only show the RH side plug, but the LH is the exact same process.
Now, take your plug wire pry tool and gently pry the plug wire upwards from the cylinder. The wire makes a 45 degree bend onto the plug, so be sure you're prying upwards.
The boot should pop right off. If not use your other hand to help wiggle it while prying. It's not a difficult process. Lay the wire out of the way to access the plug.
Place your plug socket/tool onto the plug. The factory tool has a rubber grommet inside that helps the plug stay with the tool. This is very helpful in removing and installing the plug.
With the tool in place, use your 17mm wrench to rotate the tool counter-clockwise. These are long thread plugs, so they will take quite a few turns to remove. After about 4-5 turns with the wrench, the plugs should be finger tight.
Remove the plug.
Gap your plugs to 0.028 - 0.031 depending on your mods/preference.
Now, remove the threaded tip adapter (your plug wire has a terminal for use with the threaded part only). Just remove it with a set of pliers (there's a set in your toolkit if needed).
Thread the plug back into the hole. Do not cross thread the plug! It should turn several times at finger tightness before require the plug socket/tool. If not clean thread or check that it's threading properly. Use of the factory plug tool is very handy here.
Continue tightening the plug until it stops, tighten it another 1/8 turn to seat it.
Now, reconnect the plug wire. You should feel the threads of the plug tip "grind" into place when the boot seats properly. Now repeat for the other side.
With the plugs/wires back in place, go ahead and fire up the bike to make sure it runs properly. If so, let's start putting the covers back on.
In the pic below, note the grommets that the cover aligns with.
Aligning the cover with the grommets, pop the cover back on. Take care to route the plug wire through the cutout and not to pinch it.
Lastly, put the tools back in the toolkit, put it back in the bike, strap it back down, and reinstall the chrome cover. Note the grommets in the pic below.
Rock the cover into place, push in firmly, and lock it back with the key.
You are all done. Now go ride....carefully.
Plug inspection/changing is one of the easiest things to do on the bike. It really takes only 10 minutes. Yamaha made it simple for a reason....you need to do it often. Don't skimp. Use quality plugs and check/change them often.
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